“Oh, Crime is terrible Bill”

If I were to ask you “Is crime going up or down?” what would you say?

If you’re anything like the English you’d say “UP! Of course it’s going up! What are you crazy? I’m frightened to leave my house?!?”

And you’d be wrong.

In fact you’d be very wrong.

You live in Australia one of the safest countries in the world, at the safest time to be alive, in the midst of the lowest crime rate that the world has ever known. *apologies if you don’t live in Australia, sucks to be you*

Not that crime doesn’t happen. That would be not only crazy but weird. But worldwide crime is down over 50% since the 1970’s. That’s not just statistically significant. That’s 50 freaking percent.

That's like...half!

That’s like…half!

When was the last time you saw fifty percent attributed to anything scientific. That’s higher than most efficacies of drugs. That’s higher than Tony Abbot’s approval rating. If lack of crime were a politician it would be Prime Minister. Or Crime Minister.

No first world country is immune to this wave of lawfulness. The U.S. crime is down. The U.K? The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that incidents of crime were 19 per cent lower in 2012 than in 2006/07 and 53 per cent lower than in 1995.

53%

Speaks for itself really...

Speaks for itself really…

In Australia everything bar violent assaults has dropped significantly since 1993 our violent assaults are slightly up but everything else is WAY down.

The number of burglaries was 440,000 in 2000, and has since halved to fewer than 220,000 a year.

The number of motor vehicle was 140,000 a year in 2001, and has now fallen by 61 per cent to below 55,000 a year. Other thefts were at 700,000 a year in 2001, but are now down by a third to almost 460,000 a year.

If you allow for our rising population – up by a per cent or so a year – the decline in the rate of property crime is even greater.

Robberies reached 27,000 in 2001, but have since fallen by 44 per cent to below 15,000 a year.

Murder? 1.2 incidents per 100,000 population. But after being well above 300 a year until 2006, it’s been below 300 a year since then.

It’s estimated only about half of all sexual assaults are reported to police. The number of recorded sexual assaults rose markedly between 1996 and 2008 to 20,000 victims a year – perhaps because of growing willingness to report offences – but even so the arithmetic says the rate of sexual assault has been falling modestly since 2006.

And the strangest thing is that this is a WORLDWIDE trend that shows no sign of abating.

For all the people that whinge and moan about the modern world and “The kids today” the fact is…..we are being significantly nicer to each other all the time.

There are two main questions that this brings up

1. How and why is this happening? And…..

2. Why the hell do we all think that crime is going up when it’s really not?

What it’s not.

Well it’s not harsher prison sentences. Because both Germany and Finland who have seen the same massive crime drop offs of crime in the last 20 years both significantly relaxed their prison sentences over nearly the same period.

Could it be Abortion? This was a pet theory of Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner the writers of Freakanomics. Fewer unwanted babies growing up to be criminals? Well it might be a factor but it explains little in countries where abortion is still frowned upon or outright illegal.

It’s really not the death penalty, countries like Australia and Great Brittan have basically had their murder rates drop steadily since the 1970’s without a death penalty.

 

How we deal with traitors where I come from

How we deal with traitors where I come from

What it might be.

Unleaded Petrol.

At the start of the 20th century crime started to rise. In some places it got very, very high. In those places it kept going up till the mid 80’s and then…suddenly the trend started reversing and no-one could work out why. But two events happened on its rise and then seemingly to precipitate its reversal. Lead was added to petrol and then….it was taken out. Lead is not good for you. Lead can be absorbed into bones, teeth and blood. It causes kidney damage, inhibits body growth, causes abdominal pain, anaemia and can damage the nervous system. But it remains a theory because of the French. Of course. France has had unleaded petrol since the 1970’s but their crime rate bucks the trend. It’s going up.

The internet

There was a time in the early 2000’s when the internet got pointed to for EVERYTHING. www.catchallsolution.com but it really might be the internet! Social media might be allowing everyone to realise how important people you don’t know are! Or angry birds might be taking time away from crime! Except it arrived too late. The trend was obvious in the 1980’s.

Computer Games

Got some criminal impulses? Why not get them out with a nice round of GTA? Humm…..interesting theory but fails to fit the facts.

A decline in religiosity.

Ok so no-one is taking this one seriously, in fact I might be the only proponent but in a field where you’re leading contenders make no sense with the facts it’s as valid as anything else. And it also fits. But how? Well maybe people turning to humanism is making them more humane! But then again it might just be a coincidence.

First time I've read something he's said and not imagined him yelling at me.

First time I’ve read something he’s said and not imagined him yelling at me.

Why don’t we know about it?

Well it’s tempting to blame the media for everything but in this case it really is their fault. A newspaper, a web-page, a tv show. All these things are the most bad news that can be gathered in a 24 hour period. Bad news sells. Good news? Well they don’t even report it. And the stats “Crime rate falling to unprecedented levels” is kind of at odds with the front page that sells the most when there’s another school shooting. Also that story would entail the acknowledgment of the idea that there are other countries. Something that local papers seem loathed to do unless people from those countries want to come here.

But in keeping with their approach I will leave you with some bad news. The reality is that this is bad, people have no conception of what is really happening in their country. And with people so out of touch with the reality of situations how can they make informed decisions about government? Think of this a party that gets into power promising to be tough on the rising crime rate……great…except it’s like a government getting into power promising to do something about the impending invasion of the moon people.

Possibly a propaganda poster......

Possibly a propaganda poster……

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A little nightmare music

  1. U.S.
  2. England
  3. Australia

I was at trivia last-night and  someone made the assertion that Finland has the most serial killers per-capita in the world. This seemed like an interesting statistic and so I looked it up. Nope, not even close. In-fact Finland is close the lowest with only two recorded serial killers. (We only count the ones that have been caught).

Creepy stalker Guy

A serial killer is defined as someone who finishes off multiple people but not in one sitting. If you kill people all at once, it’s joyfully called a “Spree”. You know like when you go shopping with a credit card for the first time.

According to statistics that I didn’t just make up to support my argument (what? I really didn’t, stop looking at me like that)

The countries with the most serial killers are:

  1. U.S.
  2. England
  3. Australia

But once you change that from “Most serial killers” to “Serial Killers per 100,000 of population” it looks like this.

  1. Australia
  2. U.S.
  3. England

 

And the state that has the most serial killers per head of population in Australia is Adelaide. A 2008 Australian Bureau of Statistics report found that SA has 15 per cent of the nation’s convicted killers – but only 8 per cent of its population. SA’s annual murder rate has remained stable – 1.7 deaths per 100,000 people – since 1989. Whereas the national average has been 1.3 per 100,000 since 1987. Which makes Adelaide the serial killer capital of the world. Which strangely fits with what I know of Adelaide and proves that they were just building all those churches to make up for something.

There are so many innacuracies on this towel, it's difficult to know where to being.

There are so many inaccuracies on this towel, it’s difficult to know where to begin.

Which then gets into all kinds of questions that no-one really has an answer too. Where do serial killers come from? Apart from Adelaide of course? I mean what makes them? What drives someone to break from society that they decide to murder people? And why so many in Australia?

Let’s put it this way, most murders are crimes of passion and whilst abhorrent that is understandable. People can ideate and focus on the object of their anger or someone that has wronged them and then they decide that they want to murder that person.

Serial Killers typically don’t do this, their victims are often unknown to them and except for a period of observation they have often never met in person so there is little chance for that person to have wronged the killer.

A lot of ink has been spilled on what common traits serial killers have and whilst it’s a VERY contentious subject they usually have a few things in common:

It’s a movie trait that serial killers are of above average intelligence, and in recent years there has been an idea that this is an idea put forth by police who are frustrated in not being able to catch the killer. Studies have suggested that serial killers generally have an average or low-average IQ. A sample of 174 IQs of serial killers had a median IQ of 93; only serial killers who used bombs had an average IQ above the population mean

Broadly speaking the one common unifying trait that all serial killers seem to possess is being fantasists. They are often capable of feats of projection that others cannot do such as confusing someone on the train for their mother simply because the woman has the same colour hair.

Abuse in their past is also very common, whether it be sexual or emotional.

They are often also considered to be highly voyeuristic often preferring to watch rather than engage.

Like football fans.

And yet the most troubling aspect of the serial killer phenomenon is that they can break all those rules. The stereotype of the white intelligent male that’s slightly creepy but can be charming is comforting but no-where near accurate.  A survey in America in the 2004 found that 40% of serial killers there were of African American descent.

So what is it about Adelaide? People have long complained that there is not enough to do there and the one tram that they have isn’t enough excitement for the populace. But until Clive Palmer decides to finally build Jurassic Park there, it might be a good place to steer clear of.

Nature finds a way.....unless Clive finds it first.

Nature finds a way…..unless Clive finds it first.